Lin-Manuel Miranda is reportedly leaving the cast of Hamilton on July 9th, now that he has tiny British children to sing to. There's a chance more of the cast, most of whom also have contracts ending on July 9th, will follow suit. This is a bummer for anyone with tickets to performances later this year, though perhaps less of a bummer for the larger population of the world, for whom seeing Hamilton live is mere fantasy. Still, no need to sob into your $200 ticket for December 3rd—Miranda leaving Hamilton really doesn't mean much, and everything will be just fine.
Miranda's lyrics are the heart-and-soul of Hamilton. The staging makes a live viewing worth it, and there are some standout performers—Daveed Diggs and Renée Elise Goldsberry, for instance, both of whom are up for Tonys. But even if Diggs and Goldsberry and the rest of the cast leave the show, the magic of the music—which you can listen to for free on YouTube!—will remain, and that's a good chunk of what it's all about.
I saw Hamilton. It was fucking great. I am usually a cynic, but it's earned the hype. But I've probably enjoyed listening to the cast recording just as much as the live performance, because a live performance vanishes pretty soon after the curtain call. And as good as Hamilton is, at this point the show's oversaturated the market, probably in part because of the mystique. Who cares if you can't see Miranda play Hamilton if you can't even see Hamilton at all?
It's also important to note that while Miranda is the driving force behind Hamilton, he's not even the one worth watching. The aforementioned Diggs and Goldsberry way outshine him, and Javier Muñoz, who plays Hamilton on Sundays, is a force to be reckoned with. It's unclear if Muñoz will be replacing Miranda come July 9th, but if he does, the show's in good hands—I saw him in Miranda's stead in In The Heights, and it was spectacular.
Plus, a fresh cast might keep the show from going stale. Most of the performers have been living and breathing Hamilton since the show was at The Public Theater in January 2015, and Diggs (and Miranda, of course) were even a part of the Vassar Workshop production in 2013. After a while, even being a part of something as electric as Hamilton gets rote.
I'm pretty sure Lin-Manuel Miranda can take a photo. pic.twitter.com/hZucjR181p
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) June 2, 2016
And Hamilton, as good as it is, has overshadowed a lot of great stuff on Broadway this year. There's The Color Purple, for instance, and Fun Home, which is outstanding, and the new (and excellent) revival of Fiddler on the Roof. There's the jazzy Audra McDonald-led Shuffle Along. In the non-musical world, there's The Humans, Eclipsed, and The Crucible. Hamilton is kind of like the boy who broke your heart—sure, you thought he was The One, but it turns out there are plenty of other Ones out there.
Anyway, the media machine keeps pointing out that news of Miranda's departure might make it EVEN HARDER to get Hamilton tickets, but it's already impossible, so who cares? What won't be impossible is seeing a film production of In The Heights, which is reportedly in the works; Miranda's also going to star alongside Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns, for better or for worse, and maybe one day someone will be kind enough to put the cast's entire White House performance online for the rest of us plebes.
I leave you with this.